Huntington businesses deal with street closings from presidential visit

Signs like these are all along 3rd Avenue indicating on Thursday the street will be closed to vehicular traffic. (WCHS/WVAH)

Traffic in Huntington is expected to be slow-moving Thursday afternoon, as President Donald Trump makes his visit to the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. Streets around the arena will close at noon. Business may also be slow, as some business owners consider shutting down for the event.

While most business owners impact by this understand why, they are still caught in the middle of a presidential visit.

Third Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets has been designated as the First Amendment area for protestors, with business owners wondering what kind of day they will have thursday.

"I expect the businesses to be very slow in comparison to a regular Thursday. We're opening with the hopes that the people that are protesting and set up will come in and get hungry at some point. It's likely wishful thinking," said Chris Craven, General Manager of Le Bistro and Cellar Door. He says he may have to reschedule an event because of the closing of Third Avenue in front of his business. "I 100% understand why it's happening but it's still frustrating," said Craven.

"Am I frustrated? a little," said Bill Moore, Owner of Wright's Men's Shop. The business is closing at 3 thursday afternoon. Moore says the presidential visit may be a future benefit for downtown merchants. "There's going to be a lot of people here. Sometimes you might lose a little but now but you will win in the long run,' said Moore.

"We really have no way of knowing what the impact is going to be," said Mackenzie Morley, Owner of Kensington Alley. She plans to let the day play out before deciding whether to stay open. "I think the unknown is always unsettling, but we are hoping to embrace this and have it be a real positive thing. Our intention is to be here and be open. If things get a little too crazy we may close early,' said Morley.

She said during last weekend's Hot Dog Festival Third Avenue was also closed and she had a profitable day, so it will be interesting to see how businesses are actually impacted by the street closing due to the presidential visit.

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